Here in Sheffield, diversity is important to us, which is why we at Forge Press wanted to celebrate our differences with a collection of our favourite BME characters and what we like about them! Video game characters are more than just people on your screen, they are role models: people that players young and old can look up to and relate to. This is why diversity in games is so important, so that nobody is left out and everyone can play as and meet characters that they can see themselves in.
We hope you enjoy the list, and here’s to celebrating diversity and embracing our differences!
Lee Everett (The Walking Dead) by Joe Stead
Lee Everett is the main character in Telltale’s The Walking Dead. To me, Lee is the best character Telltale ever managed to create during their time developing ‘choose your own adventure’-style games. Lee is a character with many flaws that Telltale doesn’t try to hide. Throughout the story Lee’s dark, troubled past before the zombie apocalypse is slowly revealed. However, as the game progresses Telltale also reveals the things that make Lee such a great character. He serves as a strong leader to several different groups during the game while also managing to be a reassuring guardian for the game’s other star, Clementine. Telltale didn’t try and make him this infallible, awe-inspiring hero. Lee is a man who has made a lot of mistakes, and when thrown into such an extreme situation he does his best to make up for those by helping people who can’t deal with it as well as he can. I think he’s a good role model, a prime example of someone overcoming their dark past to be a better person. We’ve all made mistakes, and Lee helped me deal with the fact that those don’t have to define who we are.
Basilio (Fire Emblem: Awakening) by Catherine Lewis
Basilio is one of your most powerful and loyal allies in Fire Emblem: Awakening. He is the West-Khan of the country Ferox, and was once the reigning Khan of the entire country. He is dependable, witty, and also very jolly as seen in his interactions with the East-Khan, Flavia, as they frequently engage in friendly banter with each other (usually leading to him being put in his place when he goes too far).
He lends his advice and strength to Chrom and Robin throughout the war, and plays an important part in securing their victory.
The other characters in the game look up to him due to his wisdom, experience and age, but the reason I admire him so much is because of how he stays so optimistic even in bad situations, never giving up.
Despite Awakening having a big focus on the characters’ fates and written futures, Basilio doesn’t believe any of that can stop him from achieving his goals.
“Don’t you put any stock in this destiny hogwash! Let the dead whine about their fate… As long as I draw breath, I choose to keep fighting!”
Hau (Pokémon Sun and Moon) by Zac Hickton-Jarvis
Hau is your plucky friend and rival in Pokémon Sun and Moon, who you meet at the start of the game and frequently throughout the story. He is very kind and caring towards his Pokémon, while still striving to become stronger so he can be like his grandfather, Hala, the Melemele Island Kahuna. He’s a very happy-go-lucky character and never minds losing to the player, always saying that having fun is what matters most. This is a characteristic more common in recent Pokémon rivals, but I think that Hau is the best written of them so far, as he also shows other realistic emotions throughout the game such as the fear of not being good enough to live up to his grandfather, and worrying for his friends. He loves to eat the Alola region’s most famous dessert, malasada, which he frequently raves about on your adventure. He stands out to me as a very important character, being the first BME Pokémon rival and paving the way for Hop in the upcoming games Sword and Shield, who hopefully will be written just as well.
Sergeant Johnson (The Halo series) by Ash Williams
When it comes to memorable characters in gaming, one of the standout nominations, BME or otherwise, has to go to Sergeant Avery Johnson, the loudmouthed platoon leader that sticks by the Master Chief’s side throughout Halo 1-3.
Combining humour with kick-ass speeches and general badassery, he becomes a beacon of hope during humanity’s war with the Covenant and the Flood. A genuine ally on the battlefield; he’ll stick with you through the worst of times, just to enjoy one of his trademark cigars at the end. What a guy.